Above all else I guarded my heart

At the tender age of 8 I became a statistic. Society has a way of grouping people who have come across unfortunate circumstances. Unfortunately the death of my father was one of those circumstances that qualified me as one. Though my situation was unknown to those doing the reporting it didn’t really matter. No one really cared about the real story and no one really talked about it. I began to adopt the no one talks about it mentality. I didn’t think about it, I didn’t volunteer information about it and I sure as hell wasn’t going to talk about it. I was in my own little denial bubble hoping that perhaps it was a huge mistake. I almost felt ashamed to let the world know that my father was dead. I remember vividly someone asking me about him while in junior high. I responded with a lie that he still resided in Brooklyn. For some reason my parents being separated was more acceptable to me. What would they say? Would they think I was weird? Would they cast looks of pity my way? Would they talk about the fatherless child behind my back? I needed to protect my dignity, my pride, my ego– all that I began to build at such a young age.

My next what the hell moment came a couple years after. I was in the shower, and having a conversation with someone on the other side of the curtain. “Do you ever think about your father?” I was floored. This was my best kept secret, and I was being violated. There was nothing my strawberry and champagne body wash could do to reverse the damage. I couldn’t let them in that deep. I responded quickly with the “I don’t really talk about that attitude.” Believe my response was enough. No prodding questions or ever going back to the topic.

I never really grieved for him because I never really accepted it. I was in the shower again (magic happens there y’all…let me tell ya. Well maybe not ;-)) my semester of grad school when it dawned on me. Oh s&*%# he isn’t coming back. This was my big ah ha moment. I finally had my breakdown, my moment of catharses, my denial washed down the drain with caress body wash suds and tears. I rinsed off my regrets, my suds and my tears and started fresh.

My father was dead, I was alive, I was by my own definition no longer a statistic and I had tons of reading to do. I couldn’t let this bring me to a place of darkness. A place where I lived for so many years. I needed to allow myself to feel, but I couldn’t let my feelings consume me. I think I was mad at myself for not accepting this fate so long ago. I had such tight reigns on my emotions though. I didn’t allow myself to feel anything outside of over achieving. I was an over achieving lover, over achieving friend and student. I needed to be better than what was set for me. Something I still need to work on. After coming to grips with the current I felt free. I can look at pictures without guilt, I can talk about it without feeling embarrassed and I can share memories. It was okay for him to not be around and love him. I forgave myself for not accepting the memories I had and wanting more. I forgave his spirit for abandoning me and embraced the man that taught me how to love a man by loving me.

Yours till the rain bows DCC.

En tout cas (in any case),

Me

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